The New Bentley Azure T | Part Four

The New Bentley Azure T

Bentley Azure T

Dynamic Handling, Superb Ride and Outstanding Braking

The Bentley Azure’s double wishbone front and rear suspension is carried over to the Azure T unaltered. Set-up and fine-tuned to give a refined ride that best suits the character of this convertible Bentley, the system features coil springs with computer-controlled, adaptive electro-hydraulic dampers and automatic ride-height control with auto-load compensation.

The Azure T’s suspension delivers impressive body control in all driving conditions, while the new five-spoke, two-piece 8.5J x 20-inch Sports alloy wheels with 255/40 ZR20 Pirelli P Zero tyres further improve handling and road holding.

As an option, Azure T owners may specify an upgraded braking system with carbon/silicon carbide, cross-drilled brake ventilated discs. Measuring 420 x 40 mm (front) and 356 x 28 mm (rear), these discs are the largest fitted to any production car on sale today. With eight-piston callipers, the brakes provide impressive deceleration and also give an 8 kg reduction in un-sprung weight, benefiting steering response, ride suppleness and acceleration.

This lightweight braking system ensures virtually fade-free use, time after time, and superb resistance to disc distortion under high thermal conditions. Under normal use, the brake discs will last the lifetime of the car and pad life is doubled compared to the standard system.

For Azure T and its Bentley stable mates, the Traction Control system is calibrated with the aim of avoiding all unnecessary reductions in engine torque. The ESP logic system, which is set up to allow spirited handling without any reduction in stability or safety, monitors the car’s overall stability rather than simply loss of grip to the wheels. This reduces the amount of intervention required and restores power earlier and more progressively, allowing the power of the Azure T’s V8 engine to be fully exploited.

Compared with the Arnage, the Bentley Azure T benefits from significant stiffening members. These strengthened steel parts lie in the sill section of the car and extend into the A-pillars that form the windscreen frame. Beneath the front and rear of the Azure, carbon fibre cross-bracing members reinforce the whole bodyshell, while adding far less weight than steel.

Strengthening has also been applied to the body structure behind the rear seats where an advanced rollover protection system is fitted. This immediately detects if the car is in danger of inverting and deploys two hoops that are integrated within the rear headrests. In conjunction with the strengthened front windscreen frame, these are capable of supporting 2.5 times the entire weight of an over-turned car.

Published 12 November 2008 Staff

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